Puerto Rico and Spain will be facing each other for the first time in history on August 15, 2012. The venue is the Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel located in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
The stadium is also the home of the Puerto Rico Islanders, which is part of the North American Soccer League or NASL. What can be expected in this friendly match of historical significance?
Before delving into that topic, some information about the rivals of this friendly match is in order.
Puerto Rico is an island known for baseball, basketball and volleyball. It is also known for boxing.
According to the FIFA/Coca-Cola World ranking, the island currently ranks in 138th place with 210 points in world football. Puerto Rico ranks in 19th place on the CONCACAF FIFA/Coca Cola scale.
At the present time, the Islanders are in third place within the NASL rankings, behind the San Antonio Scorpions and the Tampa Bay Rowdies. They also made history with their participation in the CONCACAF Champions League; they went all the way to the semifinals in 2009.
Puerto Rico is beginning to take football seriously. According to FIFA, Puerto Rico is beginning to construct a building, which will serve to train future generations of footballers.
During my trip to Puerto Rico, I remember seeing people in Plaza Las Americas (a San Juan shopping mall) purchasing souvenirs of the Puerto Rico Islanders. The same thing happened at Plaza del Caribe, which is a shopping mall in Ponce.
This is the first trip by the Spanish National Football team to Puerto Rico for a friendly match. Spain has a long history of football with teams such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Club Deportivo La Coruna and Athletic Club Bilbao.
Spain is also known for its personalities such as Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Iker Casillas, and Fernando Torres. It is also home to one of the biggest rivalries of La Liga: FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Spain won three consecutive times which were the 2008, 2012 Euro, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Spain was the winner of the 1964 Euro Cup after defeating the Soviet Union (now Russia).
Spain, at the present time, ranks in first place with 1,605 points on the FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking scale. It also ranked in second place with 84,186 points on the UEFA Country Coefficient scale for 2011-2012.
Puerto Rico is going to be in the history books of world football. Regardless of who wins or loses, it is great that these two teams are coming together in a place where football is beginning to become popular.
We should savor and enjoy the moment. My best wishes to the B/R readers until next time.